6 New Year's resolutions every job seeker should make

Now that you've decided to search for a better job, resolve to change your habits to accomplish that goal.

Often, it's better to make your resolutions for the year after the emotions of the holidays are well behind you. Toward the end of January, you'll have a better understanding of your goals and aspirations, especially as they relate to your career. Whether you're actively looking for work, or just mulling over the possibility of a change, now is a good time to make some promises to yourself that will help in your search.

Here are some actionable ideas to inspire you this year:

1. Resolve to get more connected

Using social media doesn't have to be all about sharing pictures of your pets - it can also be a great way to promote your personal brand and even connect with people who can help you find a new job. U.S. News & World Report noted you can use social media to spread the word that you're on the hunt for a new position. Then, if your followers hear of open positions, your name might spring to the top of their minds!

"When a great candidate is referred to me, I always ask where they heard about me and Beacon Hill – oftentimes the response is that they saw a post that a friend of a friend made about an open job," says Elizabeth Pirrie, Division Director of Beacon Hill's Associates Division in Chicago. "And it goes both ways! I also have candidates referred to us every day who blasted to their 1st and 2nd degree network that they were looking for a job and they landed an interview with us within 24 hours."

2. Resolve to practice your interview skills

You should always be prepared to go into an interview. Get a friend or family member to help you practice. Start by making a list of questions you expect to be asked, then rehearse your answers until you can exude confidence. While you don't want to sound like you have your answers memorized, it doesn't hurt to continually practice your main talking points. And don't neglect the phone interview, either. The Balance reported that job seekers should refresh their knowledge of phone etiquette.

Hone your interview skills at home before heading into the real thing.

3. Resolve to polish your cover letter

Now is a good time to take out your cover letter, dust it off and rethink how it's written. The Muse explained that cover letters should not sound like a reiteration of your resume. Likewise, it's best if they can be tailored to each specific position. With this in mind, consider writing a letter that you can modify based on each job you apply for. And don't forget to focus on highlighting positive facts and figures from your career.

4. Resolve to call a recruiter

Having an experienced professional in your corner is invaluable. A recruiter can help you locate jobs and prepare for your interviews. Rather than sending your resume and cover letter into the void of the internet, a recruiter can act as a representative and cheerleader for your professional skills and talents. If you've been stuck in the job search for a while, calling a recruiter is an excellent way to get out of the rut.

Ms. Pirrie adds: "Whenever a candidate comes in for an interview with a member of our team, they are really at a first interview for each of our 200 clients. Strengthening recruiter relationships by being flexible, urgent, and forthcoming allows us to better go to bat for you when the client says to us, 'Who would you pick?'"

5. Resolve to stay positive

Depending on the type of positions you're looking for, it could take longer than you expect to find that dream job. Don't get discouraged! With enough practice, and with a trained professional recruiter on your side, you'll eventually find a job that's perfect for you. When you're feeling worn down, take a small break to meditate, eat a healthy meal or do something else to ease your mind. Then get back to searching for the job you really want in life.

6. Resolve to look back

While the prospect of beginning the New Year with a blank slate is tantalizing, the turn of the calendar provides a perfect opportunity to take stock of your position. "When I talk to candidates about this, I always tell them to take some time to update their resume," says Michael Pickens, Division Director of Beacon Hill's Financial Division in Chicago. "Reflect about the prior year and be sure to capture all of your successes on paper. It sounds simple, but many forget and then are scrambling later trying to remember their accomplishments." Write it down while it is fresh in your mind. That way, you can leap into the new year knowing you've given yourself the best possible chance at job-seeking success.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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